She made her seasonal debut at Navan 11 days ago and shaped as if she would come on plenty for the outing.
The daughter of Galileo did go off the 9-4 favourite, but was somewhat uneasy in the market and the performance on the track showed just why punters were reluctant to get stuck in.
Shell House was always fighting a losing battle up the straight, although never really in a position to get involved. The selection did, however, stay on quite nicely at the end of ten furlongs to fill fourth behind Carla Bianca.
She drops back to a mile now, but that shouldn’t present any great problem on this stiff track, with a run under her belt.
It will be a mild surprise should O’Brien’s newcomer, Cougar Mountain, not be all the rage for the New BBQ Format At Naas Maiden. A son of Fastnet Rock, he is reportedly particularly highly regarded.
O’Brien will saddle the likely favourite, Palace, in the featured Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Naas Oaks Trial.
She is the obvious form choice, having taken fifth, in unsuitably testing conditions, behind Marvellous in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh, before finishing seventh to the impressive Taghrooda in the Epsom Oaks.
Palace has, however, had a busy time of it and preference is for the fresher Carla Bianca, who came good with a vengeance when winning her maiden at Navan by five lengths.
Dermot Weld trains Carla Bianca and can also provide the solution to the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Median Auction Maiden for two-year-olds with the once-raced Baroque Style.
This colt may have only managed fifth of seven behind Intense Style at the Curragh in May, but gave promise of much better to come.